Toronto, February 11: An auction house that had put up five paintings by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler for sale, have failed to interest buyers. The paintings – five water colours which were signed with Hitler’s initials were put up for auction in Nuremberg, the German city synonymous for support for Hitler during his reign in Europe.
The paintings were put up for sale by Weidler Auction House with starting prices between USD $21,500 and $50,900. Among the paintings was a watercolour of a mountain lake view and views of Vienna or Nuremberg, female nudes and still-life works, the auction house said.
Just days before the auction, German authorities apprehended 63 other paintings attributed to Hitler from the auction house over forgery allegations. Nuremberg-Fuerth prosecutor's office said it had opened an investigation against persons unknown "on suspicion of falsifying documents and attempted fraud", chief prosecutor Antje Gabriels-Gorsolke told the AFP news agency. "If they turn out to be fakes, we will then try to determine who knew what in the chain of ownership," she said.
Weidler House then withdrew these paintings from its auction list but said that the authorities would verify the authenticity and this does not mean the paintings were a fake.
Paintings attributed to Adolf Hitler periodically show up in the German art market as the Nazi leader for a time tried to make his living as an artist in his hometown in Austria. Hitler is said to have created some 2,000 artworks which include watercolours and portraits. With the growing popularity of right-leaning parties across Europe, Nazi memorabilia has been garnering increasing interest. Read: Parents of Baby Named Adolf 'Hitler' Arrested For Promoting Neo-Nazi Terror Group in Britain
This is not the first time that German authorities have seized paintings attributed to the Nazi leader. In January, Berlin police were notified of three paintings alleged to be works of Hitler but were seized over charges that they too were forged.